Fleeing driver dies in Kawerau
A man has died following a fleeing driver incident in Kawerau.
At around 3.30am police observed a vehicle travelling at high speed on River Road.
This vehicle again was observed around 3.37am with its lights turned off.
Police attempted to stop the vehicle, however it accelerated and failed to stop. The vehicle fled and a short time later lost control and crashed into a tree.
The sole occupant of the vehicle has died at the scene.
"We are currently speaking to and supporting the man’s next of kin, as well as supporting our staff involved," says Superintendent Andy McGregor, District Commander Bay of Plenty.
"My staff do not want to ever see an outcome like this.
"It’s an absolute tragedy to lose anyone on our roads. My condolences go out to his family."
Andy says this morning’s incident was fast-moving and happened in an extremely short time frame.
"Our staff always assess the risk of whether or not to engage a driver who fails to stop for Police, and continue to monitor risk factors throughout.
"We take these decisions very seriously, and need to maintain a balance between ensuring public safety, and upholding the law.
"There will be an internal investigation regarding the incident and the Independent Police Conduct Authority has also been formally notified, both of which are standard procedure."
A Serious Crash Unit investigation is also underway to establish the full circumstances of the crash.